Camping to Relax
Camping is a way to spend time with family, friends, or alone, away from the stress and complications of everyday life. Fresh air, nature and a lot less noise pollution can be a wonderful way to relax. People are so plugged into their lives and the people around them that they may feel lost. Personally, the best relaxation I have had is to get away from home and turn off the cell phone.
What you use when camping depends on your abilities and the comfort of those involved. I have used everything from a Class A RV to a hammock between two trees. I’ve driven, hiked, and floated into some of the most beautiful areas of the south.
Growing up in the southern United States conjures different ideas for everyone. Especially when it comes to camping. I will be the first to admit that I don’t go as often as I used to. And with that being said, recently, me, my son and a friend, decided to take a little rest and relaxation in an area of Floyd County, Georgia, known as the Pocket.
Located in northwest Georgia, the Pocket is a low area surrounded and overshadowed by the Mill and Horn Mountains. It is the former site of Camp F-16 operated by the Civilian Conservation Corp. It is located approximately 25 miles north of Rome, Georgia, and 25 miles west of Dalton, Georgia.
The focal point of this recreation area is a natural spring that produces a supply of water, varying from ankle to waist depth and rock-stack wall knee high through the day-use area. It is suitable for all ages with campsites for one family or 5 adults. It is pet friendly, however, they must be leashed at all times. Each campsite has parking for 2 vehicles and some sites have access to fresh water hookups. There are restrooms available (do not contain showers). Two hiking trails round out the experience, however, due to storm damage and remoteness of the area, these trails require the ability to travel unaided by ADA mobility devices (wheel chair, walker, scooter, ect.).
Mobile phone and data services are limited or not available within a 5 mile radius, due to the mountains.
We arrived on Friday evening with the intent to stay until Sunday morning. Upon reaching the camping area, we found that the campsites closer to the creek and spring had already been occupied. However, we did manage to locate a campsite that was decently level for tenting and had some unused firewood from the previous patrons.
Firepits with grill grates attached are located on each site. The grates are heavy duty, but the cooking area is small. Luckily, we had a larger grate with folding legs, and that wasn’t an issue.
We started setting up camp. While I lit a fire and set up our cooking / eating area, Logan (my son) and George, began by setting up the 10’ x 10’ gazebo. The gazebo is the backbone of the tents that we use when we camp together. Our tents are Ozark Trail Connectent, and attach to the gazebo frame for support of the front / door of the tent. The inside of the tent was spacious enough that I had plenty of room for my camping cot and Coleman 3-layer sleeping bag. Or if I had been sharing my tent, a full size air mattress and another adult, could still be just as comfortable.
Probably, one of the most useful purchases we have made is the Ozark Trail - 12 Piece Camp Tool Set. It contains a machete, hatchet, knife, wet stone, fire starter, 50 feet of utility cord, 2 carabiners and an aluminum 3AAA focusing flashlight. Some items from this set were being used at various times during the stay.
The machete and hatchet came in handy when we went on the 2.5 mile hike and had to clear a path around a damaged part of the trail. The flash light was used after dark. The knife made quick work of vegetables and meats. And the cord with carabiners helped support a 10’ x 12’ tarp between two trees and the gazebo for extra shade.
Of the meals we had during our two day stay, three were cooked over the fire pit. Two other meals were prepared over a propane camp stove or in an MRE pouch. “What did we have?” Well, of course one of the meals was hamburgers, but we also had fried chicken and bratwurst with peppers and onions.
My camping companions know that I like to cook at home, however, they had no idea that I am just as versed at cooking on open flames in a camping situation. Until now, I hadn’t treated them to the bratwurst with peppers and onions. We carried on a conversation as they watched me slice up four bell peppers (red, green, yellow, orange) and an onion. Laid eight beer brats on the bed of peppers. Added a few different seasonings and virgin olive oil. Covered the entire mixture in an iron skillet with aluminum foil. Then place it over the fire to cook for about 45 minutes. It wasn’t too long before the sweet smell was floating in the air. It was a hit!
Fried chicken fingers were prepared over a Coleman portable bottletop propane camp stove with adjustable burner, using a small pot and cooking oil. I also used a percolator coffee pot to heat water for the breakfast MRE’s before making my morning coffee.
We didn’t get to stay as long as we wanted, thanks to mother-nature, but we did get to have some guy time and relax for two days.
Just a footnote, we weren’t completely without power for the trip. We had portable USB rechargeable fans and USB battery packs.